Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bereft

In September 2001, I was still running a few times a week. On September 12, I took off on my usual route. I had cried so much the day before, I didn't think I had any left in me. I was feeling energized. I had given money. I had made contact with my friend in New York to make sure she hadn't lost anyone in the WTC collapse. The sun was shining, and the weather was warm. I was nearly done with my loop when I came to the interstate overpass. Someone had tied an American flag to the chain-link wiring above the bridge's short concrete walls. They must've done it the day before, because the string holding it up was fraying and loose. I paused my music and stopped my run, and as I was retying the flag, I just lost it. I started crying, not caring that complete strangers in cars were passing me with regularity, staring at me. They knew why I cried.

I hadn't felt that helpless and angry and yet full of love and sympathy until yesterday. I had to shut my office door repeatedly to keep my co-workers from hearing my sniffling.

So go to Americablog, yes, but go to Scrivenings, too. He is writing clearly and firmly about all of the problems (too many to list) with the response to Katrina, and he has many excellent links.

Lastly, I ask: Do all that you can do. Be as generous as you can be. But do not lose this feeling, this anger, this shock, this elemental need for accountability and answers. Keep it with you, always.

7 Comments:

Blogger ccw said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

9:17 AM, September 04, 2005  
Blogger RussianViolets said...

APL, this is beautiful. I hear and obey.

2:06 PM, September 04, 2005  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Thanks, APL, for the reminders.

1:35 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

Absolutely beautiful. And here here.

10:41 PM, September 05, 2005  
Blogger Siryn said...

Absolutely on point.

Thanks for sharing.

12:54 AM, September 06, 2005  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

I felt so reminded of 9/11 also. Especially the feeling of wanting this to be a nightmare. This is a beautiful post. Thanks.

10:01 AM, September 06, 2005  
Blogger Scrivener said...

That's a great story. I didn't go through anything quite so perfectly narrative after 9/11 but I did find myself for the first time in my life actually feeling something emotionally powerful when I looked at an American flag.

And thanks for the kind words about my posting. I've felt thoroughly inadequate writing what I have, so it's really nice to hear that you've found it worthwhile.

8:40 AM, September 07, 2005  

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